Long Haul, Long Hell

English: Tambo Long Haul Arrivals
English: Tambo Long Haul Arrivals (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like childbirth, it is fortunate that some inherent, natural bodily mechanism allows us to forget the torture of the long-haul flight once we land on terra firma.

Until a few days before the next flight, that is.

Controversial I know, but in my middle-aged, humble, thankfully-beyond-small children opinion, there should be a law against little buggers under the age of five being allowed onto long haul flights.

Long haul flights are not a humane mode of transport for even the most patient and tolerant among us, (of which I am definitely not one). It defies the realms of normal physical endurance to remain in an upright position for 24 hours, sleep-deprived and forced to consume food every two hours, and still remain sane.

But add a screaming child into the equation, and you create your own personal purgatory. Frankly, I would prefer to stick needles in my eyeballs than take a small child on a long-haul flight – actually, that’s exactly how my eyeballs felt after the twentieth hour of my flight to London, anyway.

Any parent will understand just how debilitating lack of sleep is, so it’s hardly surprising that having been awake for over sixteen hours, I might have entertained the idea (in my most private of thoughts) of what would be the most violent death for those children in row 36 who prevented me from nodding off.

Up until that family of four, which included one grizzly toddler and a very hungry newborn, boarded, I had strategically planned my journey and decided I would catch up on my sleep on the last leg to set myself up for mint physical condition for my new time zone.

The best-laid plans and all that…

But I have to give it to those siblings, for they harmonized beautifully together for that whole eight-hour flight, and although I did feel some distant pity for the parents for about one minute of the journey, most of my pity was self-focused.

Which is why I have already begun to contemplate the journey home. There have been some noticeably worrying, different palpitations in my chest area.